A wire stripper is a portable hand-held tool that can be utilised when removing the insulation from electric wires. They are a very common tool that find use locally and globally each day. But while they’re user-friendly overall, it’s necessary for any user of wire strippers to have a solid understanding of the principles surrounding their use before looking to begin work with them. So let’s look now at how to use wire strippers the proper way.

Take Appropriate Safety Measures Including Wearing Safety Gear

It’s necessary to ensure the area is safe to work in before beginning to use a wire stripper. This includes ensuring no power can run through the wire while wire stripping is occurring. But as well as this, there may be additional steps that must be taken depending on the scene. Putting on the appropriate safety gear beforehand is also important, with safety goggles a very important inclusion to help minimise the risk of any damage to the eyes.

Ascertain the Wire Gauge

It’s first necessary to glean what type of gauge the copper wire has that is to be stripped. This can typically be found on the outermost sheathing that binds numerous wires together internally within an NM cable.

Look to Match the Wire and the Tool

Given wire strippers will commonly have numbered markings alongside its teeth, once the number of the wire guage is known it’s then possible to match it to the marking on the tool. This size is the one the wire should be placed in when it is stripped. It’s very important the right hole is identified, given one that is too large may not strip the wire effectively. In turn, one that is too small may frustrate progress, and even risk damaging the wire itself.

Insert the Wire Into the Wire Stripper and Strip Slowly

Many people make the mistake of seeking to strip a wire too fast. Instead, it can be done most effectively by going slowly and steadily. Pulling the insulation to the end of the wire is not ideally done in a jerky and uneven motion. That’s why even if taking care takes a little longer to remove the wire insulation, it’s always time well spent if it means the wire insultation is removed properly.

Following the ‘if in Doubt, Don’t’ Principle

It’s necessary to keep in mind in all electrical work can have risks. Not only of harm being caused to a person(s), but property too. Accordingly, if any user of wire strippers doubts whether they have the necessary skill and experience to complete a wire stripper task, it’s necessary for them to make contact with a trusted professional and seek their insight surrounding what options exist to get the task done properly and safely.


Wire strippers are often not used in a proper way. This reality is very unfortunate as when used improperly a number of risks can arise. But these steps here show how wire strippers can be used in a way that seeks to provide precision, maximise safety, and minimise the risk of any damage to property. This is why using wire strippers properly is always a must.